‘The Wave’  

Written by Morton Rhue.

The Wave is a novel that demonstrates leadership, independence, and bravery. This novel is about a year 12 history class at Gordon High School studying World War Two. The students did not understand why the other German citizens hadn’t realised what Hitler and the Nazis were doing to jews with concentration camps and why did they not stand against it and rebel. It later leads to an experiment called ‘The Wave’ On the class led by the teacher, Ben Ross. The experiment gets out of hand with the power of control being taken over by the group of students and began to lead to people getting to get hurt both physically and mentally. A straight-A student Laurie Saunders chooses to rebel and stand up for what she believed showing values of independence and bravery. She later formulates a plan and saves her friends and peers from the Wrath of The Wave.

This novel is powerful and scary. It helped me to understand the power of influence and peer pressure can have on younger people and groups and how it can lead damage to relationships and reputations. The history class used to be like any other class. You would have jocks, nerds, sporty people and the normal person. But when ‘The Wave’ movement kicks in it’s a competition to be superior. The idea of isolation is portrayed throughout the novel as when all the students besides Laurie Saunders were following through with the movement Laurie was isolated from everyone and everything, she had to show commitment and strength to not get drawn in by peer pressure and to stand up for what she believed was right.

I think the text developed a strong theme of isolation. It was relatable to areas of my own personal life. As the reader, I could understand that if I had was isolated from the main group and people I would struggle to not get drawn in by the peer pressure and not feel as if everyone disagrees with me as I am a very sociable and representable person. I can see isolation from groups in real life events today such as homelessness and personal beliefs and cults.

This novel made me ponder about the safe and supportive place I live in, in Wanaka and how in many different places such as Auckland you had to be part of the main theme where your appearance is you and you always have to own the best clothes otherwise you felt ‘isolated’ and begin to feel left out. Laurie realises that she’s going to be alone to fight by herself. She begins to rebel and talk her friends out of the movement but they think ‘The Wave’ is a positive thing. In the text, Amy, Laurie’s best friend says “Laurie don’t you see the wave is doing good, people are finally started to get treated equally for once” This makes Laurie begin to think how drawn in and manipulated her friends have come to an experiment. ‘The Wave’ begins to hurt people starting with people’s relationships then leading to physical damage to people like Laurie who didn’t believe and participate in the movement. David, Laurie’s boyfriend tries to Laurie after she publishes an article against the wave in order to try and stop it. He waits for her after school and grabs her and threatens her to not publish the article which she refuses not to and he pushes her to the ground. However, this caused a positive outcome it made David realise the amount of power and influence ‘The Wave’ had on himself and how it needed to come to an end.

It made me think of how people will go to the point of physical harm to be part of a group. I believe Laurie did the right thing and hope I would do the same or similar. Laurie didn’t give up and was brave and stuck with what she believed was right and as a result of this more persons such as David, got influenced by her behaviour and beliefs. If Laurie had not shown those values I believe that she would struggle to achieve her goal and end ‘The Wave’ movement. I respect Laurie for her values, judgment and perseverance to achieve her goal.

I think that Laurie was an influential and knowledgeable character and she is a good role model and did a great job to demonstrate certain values through the text “The Wave”. ‘The Wave’ by Morton Rhue was captivating and made me really appreciate where I live and the people in my everyday life as if I lived somewhere different it may be different. I would most definitely recommend reading this novel as there are things to learn from it and is an eye-opener to the wider world and reality. It inspired me to not give up and show that even if your opinion or belief is different to another it doesn’t mean it’s not right! It also inspired me to go and achieve my own goals, so let it inspire you.


Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Finn, when you relate the textual details to your own life, make sure you refer back to the text in your discussion. E.g. You talk about Laurie’s isolation and then your own personal experiences. Make sure you link back to the text so that the connection you are making is clear.

    Also, always consider what the author’s purpose is when they include various events, characters, decisions…. What impact do these details have on us as a reader? What beliefs, ideas, thoughts, lessons surface? Some of your personal reflections seem slightly underdeveloped here.


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